Have you ever stumbled over your words when someone asks what you do for a living?
I have, and have missed out on precious networking opportunities. After reading Karyn’s eBook, The Art of Networking and Referrals, I’m no longer in the dark when it comes to networking with others.
How about you? Are you tired of letting networking opportunities pass you by? Whether you are unemployed, employed, or self-employed, I think we can all benefit from learning how to network with others.
Karyn Greenstreet, owner of Passion for Business, is a power house of information. Reading this 24-page program is like receiving virtual coaching. In the time it took me to read, I made important decisions, wrote my “elevator speech” and a list of action steps.
I thought networking was common sense. Now, I realize I was unprepared and unfocused. Now, I am prepared for the next opportunity to introduce myself. And, I’m looking at each new encounter as a possible opportunity to make a business connection.
What’s holding you back from making introductions and building business connections?
Roadblocks to networking
Although I’ve been in the counseling business since 2001, I was hesitant to sell my self. I don’t like to be sold to, and I don’t want to present myself in a pushy manner. Now, I am looking at networking from a new perspective.
Networking, like any other relationships is balanced. It is about giving and receiving. It’s not all about me and what I offer. It’s a mutual relationship. It is as much about learning about the other as it is about sharing what you do. What a relief – I can do this!
I am out of balance in another way too. I focus mainly on marketing through my website and articles. This leads to word of mouth referrals and client self-referrals, yet I’ve been oblivious to connecting outside of the virtual world.
Electronic marketing appeals to me, because it is more practical while raising two young kids. As they grow, I’ll grow, and hopefully my business will follow. It is time to get out of the office and away from the computer. I am ready to meet live people!
So, how do you get started?
Get on the road to networking
1. Prepare a short, interesting introduction:
Karyn teaches how to write your “elevator speech”: a short introduction that you will use each time you meet someone. Karyn suggests including three parts: 1) your name, 2) your business name, and 3) your services/products benefits. For example, my introduction is the following:
“My name is Marci Payne. I am an individual, marriage, and family counselor.
I work with people who want to enjoy their life and relationships more.”
This has got to be an improvement from “I am a licensed professional counselor in private practice.” What’s a licensed professional counselor? And, how would that benefit me?
2. Decide where you want to focus your energy and why:
Unless you have the time and energy to build one-on-one relationships in social media, focus your energy somewhere else. To me, social networking is more about numbers, than about personal connections.
What works for you? Conferences? Networking Groups? Coffees? Face book?
3. Think of each meeting/new introduction as networking:
While I’m open to online connections and have met some talented people, I am looking at group meetings and each new person as a possible business connection. I love learning about others passions and fields. Now, I need to match my enthusiasm for others with sharing what I do too!
And, if you are still stuck and looking for new ideas, click here to sign up for Karyn’s mailing list, and you will receive her networking program as a free gift. (Note: Karyn doesn’t know I’m inviting you to her business products.)
Now, it’s your turn. Use the comment section to try out your introduction. Share your networking success stories.
How has networking impacted your career, work, or business?
Photo Credits: Michael Heiss